There is no shortage of studies about the physical and psychological strain of caring for an aging, ailing loved one. In 2013 a study by Genworth Financial exposed the monetary loss that caregiving without the benefit of Long Term Care insurance can entail. The report, titled “Beyond Dollars 2013: A Way Forward” discussed the immensity of out-of-pocket expenses if long term care arrangements were not made prior to the loved one actually needing long term care.
The good news is that long term care can be anticipated and planned for. Even better, our research shows such planning really can reduce the impacts of long term care on lives and finances.
In fact, one out of two caregivers said they wished they had taken steps sooner—although only 23% actually had made any plans for a long term care event in the family. Clearly, getting started is easier said than done.
The financial incentive is there: Caregivers estimate they could have saved nearly $11,000 on average if they had made long term care arrangements earlier.
In the study Genworth also reports that families without care planning in place also face challenges to their quality of life for both the care giver and the person cared for.
It’s the little luxuries and indulgences that can make tough times more manageable. Unfortunately, more than half (58%) of caregivers reported cutting into such discretionary spending, including eating out, buying new clothes, or buying a new car because of their care-related responsibilities. More than one in four (27%) had spent less than before on events such as birthdays and anniversaries.
Care recipients are being impacted in these areas to an even greater extent. 77% have cut back on discretionary spending, and more than a third (36%) have spent less on family events.
The study is worth reading and when you’ve shared it with your family you need to talk about getting care planning in place.
At Idaho Estate Planning, we understand the challenges faced by elder Americans and their families. We have resources throughout the Treasure Valley, experts in the field of Elder Care & Planning. We have the experience and expertise to help you maintain your options and protect yourself as well as your loved ones now and into the future. Remember, good planning is no accident.